What does the Women’s Learning Studio do, anyway?


Doris and I have had our share of challenges when we try and explain what we do to individuals, groups, organizations, and friends and family. We struggle with not going into too much detail, and not being too glib. When we go into too much detail, people really get confused and eyes start to glaze over. When we do the short version, no one understands the services we offer.

We have heard the following:

“What software are you selling?”

“I really need someone like you to teach me how to use my smartphone”

“You do webinars, right?”

“I don’t know how to turn on my computer – you teach that don’t you?”

“I already know how to use email and text. I don’t need your services”

You get the drift.

Our struggle then is reaching out to you, our target audience, with a clear message about what we do, in accessible language, and with service descriptions you want to buy. Our problem is that we aren’t really selling a product (some will argue with us about that), we are selling an online learning experience that is not a course, webinar, or the sequential, content-driven educational model I certainly grew up with. We are selling the future of learning and work.

We have broached this subject before in various ways. I wrote a blog on our definition of digital literacy, Doris and I have written blogs on working out loud, Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM), and work trends such as the rise in the workplace of contingent workers. Trends that point to working and learning in the new ways we have identified.

We follow the leaders in the field, and report back to you on what we have learned, and we keep learning and expanding our learning networks and bubbles. We model seek, sense, share (see Harold Jarche). We seek out reliable resources, make sense of what we find and learn, and share back to you in this blog.

Still, although we are learning a lot and love what we do, sometimes we find ourselves wondering if we are having a conversation only with ourselves. Our question to you out there is: what would entice you to learn to be net smart (as Howard Rheingold says)? What can we do differently to make Do-It-Yourself online learning your priority with us? This blog is full of questions for you!

Learning is changing, and digital literacy is evolving. Neither is static, as the digital world changes every nano-second. The following videos highlight how learning will be on the “edges of networks, not in the nodes”, and how digital literacy changes with societal norms. If these trends hold up, what can we do at WLS to help you navigate this new terrain?

Stephen Downes explains the future of learning at this ChangeSchool Talks 2015 from March 2, 2015.

Doug Belshaw describes Digital Literacy at TEDxWarwick from May 22, 2012.

In his free eBook, 5 Ways to Step Up for the Future of Work if You’re 50+, Jacob Morgan advises those of us who are the aging workers of today to learn how to work with:

New behaviors entering the workplace: being more public, sharing, collaborating, etc;

Mobility: being able to get your job done anywhere, anytime, and on any device;

Millennials: a new generation of digitally savvy and enabled workers;

Globalization:living and working in a world without boundaries; and

Technology: big data, the cloud, internet of things, wearables, and the like

Don’t the videos, the eBook, and other resources we have highlighted point to developing your digital literacy skills? We obviously think so!

I’ve made an attempt to distill what we do into this infographic.

What does the Women's Learning Studio do-

We invite your feedback on it – does it speak to you? Do you understand it? Does it give you a clear idea of what we do? Constructive feedback welcomed! Only you can help us with this!

Featured image attribution: Cook and Associates blog: http://www.cookandcookassociates.com/blog/

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